With the T20 leg of the India-Australia series coming to an exciting end, the stage is set for the test series, which will start on Thursday, Dec 06 at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide. The test match not only marks the beginning of a gruelling 4-test series but will also take the India-Australia rivalry to the next level. If the T20 series is something to go by, you can expect some commendable team efforts, brilliant individual performances and a keenly contested match.
India has a deplorable record in tests Down Under, which it would like to set straight this time around. Thus far, India has played 40 tests here, losing 26 and winning 5, while the rest ending in a draw. For the first test and the remaining tests as well, the task is cut out for Captain Kohli – make the most of the resources, stay positive and do not take anything for granted.
Thankfully, he has a decent unit at his disposal with the right mix of talent, experience and temperament. No doubt, Kohli will have to do the majority of run-making but he has the tenacity of Pujara, the exuberance of Prithvi Shaw and experience of Vijay and Rahane. Rohit Sharma may also prove to be a shot in the arm for Kohli provided he gets his act together.
On the fast bowling front, Team India is well served by Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar – posing a problem of plenty for the team think tank. The same issue will present itself when choosing spinners, as the management has to pick from options like R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav. The wicketkeeper slot looks reserved for Rishabh Pant, an exciting talent behind the wicket and in front of it too.
India looks a balanced unit but the same cannot be said about Australia, which is struggling in all departments of the game. With Steve Smith and David Warner missing out in the wake of the ball tempering fiasco, it is up to Captain Tim Paine, Mitchell Marsh, Aaron Finch, and Usman Khawaja to take up the responsibility in the batting department. The bowling department is also underserved, with Mitchell Starc being the only name that inspires some confidence.
Since Australian cricket is going through a lean phase, the tour couldn’t have come at a better time than this. However, you cannot write off the Aussies straightway, as they have a long history of turning the tables on the opposition when least expected.
|Match||Australia Vs. India, 1st Test|
|Match number||Test no. 2333|
|Time||10:30 start, Lunch 12.30-13.10, Tea 15.10-15.30, Close 17.30|
|Match days||06,07,08,09,10 December 2018 (5-day match)|